Taking off into the great outdoors unprepared, or even under prepared, can have dire consequences. This is why it is so important to consider your safety and the necessary precautions when camping or hiking. Many of us have a collection of survival tools that make up our ‘go to’ kit for emergencies. But have you considered all that you should?
What Survival Tools are you going to need?
That’s a very broad question, and it will vary from one country to the next. Even from one region to the next in the same country. Take for example the risks faces in two very big countries when camping and hiking where your survival tools will need to be seriously considered.
Let’s look at North America (including far north Canada), a part of the world I have spent time hiking and camping through, and my home country, Australia. The risks when exposed to the elements unprepared in both cases are very different.
Both countries bring extremes from the chilling cold of sub zero temperatures, right through to tropical heat. And with those climates come the varied dangers posed by wildlife, and the characteristic of the terrane.
Safety and Wild Animals
When you’re in North America you will need to consider the very likely chance that you’ll encounter animals and insects all the way from mosquitoes and spiders through to snakes, wolves, coyotes, bears and big cats. These have their own unique survival considerations if you are caught off guard.
When you’re in Australia the mosquitoes, spiders and snakes are more of a likely danger, but after that any risks posed in the outback tend to come from a very few land animals, and some marine animals. The most dangerous being the saltwater, or estuarine crocodiles, followed by the freshwater crocodiles.
After that, the only real danger from land animals come from being too close to kangaroos or cassowaries. These are normally animals to be mindful of if you are within a few feet of them.
Safety and the Land
So, now that the dangers of certain critters and wildlife have been put on the table, what about the land itself? Being under equipped for situations you may face in the blaring cold are a higher risk to your health than you may first anticipate.
Having the right clothing and emergency supplies should you get caught out in the cold can be a literal life saver. Taking the time to evaluate where you are going, and which steps in safety and precautions when camping and hiking you’ll need to apply will be important.
Prepare for cold nights if you’re going to explore areas away from you base camp. You may get lost in situations where the light is running out. Being equipped with something as simple as an emergency sleeping bag can make all the difference to your well being.
The right kind of survival tools in a cold climate will help you with a source of heat. Waterproof matches, a sharp knife, a multitool, a small torch, flit and even something as underrated as a plastic sheet or tarpaulin can change things from threatening to bearable. Did you know that you can even get rechargeable vests to help keep you warm?
You’re not going to go out looking to stare these conditions in the face as a reckless, fool-hardy camper. You’re going to explore nature and enjoy the time you have. So prepare for it and make sure that you’ve considered the survival tools you’ll need, just in case.